Printing Custom Football Apparel: The Ultimate Checklist

The long awaited football season is on the horizon. Cleats and helmets everywhere are being dusted off and put back on. And as an apparel decorator, printing custom football apparel has moved back up to the top of your printing agenda.

As one of America’s favorite sports, tailgating food isn’t the only thing on the rise during football season (in recent years, over 6 million wings are consumed during the Super Bowl alone!). Apparel sales are a big part of football season, too.

Because football is played outdoors and spans the weather of almost 3 seasons, in some areas, there are many apparel needs for players and fans alike.

For example, let’s take a look at just fan wear for a moment.

  • The beginning of the season begins with the hot summer sun and lighter apparel will be needed such as T-shirts and caps.
  • As the season continues on in autumn, fans face rain and colder temperatures. They will swap out their T-shirts for lightweight jackets, hoodies, and umbrellas.
  • By the end of the season and heading into the playoffs, freezing temperatures and snow have arrived. Fans will need stadium blankets, heavier coats, hats, gloves, and scarves.


custom printed stadium blanket


Not only do the various seasons help in selling more apparel, but just the sheer popularity that football has at all levels of play. Whether it’s pee-wee leagues, middle school football, high school football, college football, professional football, flag football, powder puff football, or other football teams a city may have, like arena teams, football apparel sales are a huge money maker for apparel decorators.


powderpuff football jersey


And the amount of items you can print for football makes it very profitable.

Let’s dive in to all of the custom football apparel and gear you can print.


Custom Football Uniforms

The first thing we’ll talk about when printing football apparel is the actual football uniforms.

If you land a printing job for any football team, you have the ability to print so many items with just the team football uniforms.

Let’s start with the uniform basics – a game jersey. At the bare minimum, you’ll be printing a jersey with numbers on both the front and back sides.

Number sizes for jerseys can vary based on age:

  • For youth sizes, 8” numbers are recommended
  • For adult sizes, 10” numbers are recommended


number sizes for football jerseys


If names are added to the back, a 2” name height for youth size jerseys is recommended, while a 3” name height is recommended for adult size jerseys.

Sometimes, a team name is added to the front of the jersey, or an entire design is added instead of numbers. It depends on the league rules for team jerseys.


football uniform


In addition to the game jersey, some teams will also get game pants, and a compression shirt for under the shoulder pads.

For a little added flare, print a small team logo on the game pants on one thigh, along with a small player number on the opposite thigh.


team logo on football uniform pants


The numbers on the pants are helpful if the team provides the laundry services for the entire team. They’ll know whose pants belong to who.

The compression shirt under the shoulder pads has become very popular at almost any level of play. That’s because these shirts help wick away moisture from the body while also helping to boost performance.


football performance wear


These performance shirts are usually made of stretchy polyester and fit tightly to the shape of the body. They are easy to decorate using Elasti Prints® for polyester materials.


moisture wicking shirt


Depending on the level of play, you may even be able to print home and away uniform jerseys. Usually the away jersey is white or other light color, with the home jersey being the team’s main color, or other darker color.

Now besides the actual game uniforms, teams will also have practice uniforms as well. This is usually another set of pants and a jersey.

While these aren’t as fancy as the game uniforms, they still can have a team logo and numbers printed on the jersey.


Custom Team Apparel

Apart of the team uniforms, football teams need lots of other printed apparel as well.

If you are printing the uniforms, ask the team if they would like apparel for practices and workouts, too.


football workout apparel


This includes t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, shorts, jackets, caps, and winter hats. These are all worn during workouts and practices, or just leisurely for team spirit wear.

Since all of these items have different size prints, you can print a lot of these items from one screen printed transfer gang sheet. You can fit a full size design for a t-shirt or sweatshirt, a smaller print for shorts or sweatpants, and also a smaller print for caps and hats. This greatly reduces your print costs.

Don’t forget about all of the coaches and staff, too. Whether it’s polo shirts, caps, and jackets for game time, or t-shirts and shorts for practices, there’s another order as well.


football coach apparel


Football Fan Wear and Tailgating Gear

Besides the football team, fan wear is just as profitable.


football fan wear


Students, families, friends, and other fans all need their team spirit wear.

Like we mentioned at the beginning, this is where a big opportunity lies. Over the course of several months of the football season, there will be a span of temperatures and weather.

This leads to all kinds of apparel sales.

And besides the “necessary” items like blankets and hoodies to keep warm, there’s always the extra add-on items to print for fun, such as rally towels for team spirit.


Rally towels are easy to print

Rally towels are a great way for fans to support their team!


Don’t forget stadium seats to keep fans comfortable on those hard, cold metal bleachers.


printed stadium seat


Tailgating gear like can coolers, grill mits, car window flags, and more are easy add-on sales, too.


custom printed football cooler


The list goes on and on!

Students wear their school apparel to school. That’s hundreds of t-shirts right there.


football hoodie


I’ve even seen local grocery stores selling school spirit wear to the local residents.

Partner with a store and share the profits.


Replica Fan Jerseys

As part of the spirit wear, replica jerseys are popular.

Proud parents want to wear their child’s jersey number in the stands. Girlfriends want to show off they are dating a football player.


football replica jersey for mom


Replica jerseys are easy to print. Just use the same numbers as the team uniforms. Plus, the more you buy, the more you save. This lowers your printing costs all around.

You can get replica jerseys right in the Transfer Express Apparel line. These replica jerseys are not as expensive as actual game jerseys, but look perfect on fans. There’s even women’s style, too.

[Related Content: Profiting from Selling Replica Football Jerseys]


Special Fundraising Opportunities

During the course of the football season, there’s lots of opportunities to partake in fundraisers as well.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) month. During the month of October, we even see professional athletes wearing pink.


breast cancer awareness football jersey


Take this to the local level. Partner with a local charity or the school, and sell special pink team attire for the month of October. Offer a portion of the sales to a BCA cause.

Veterans Day is in November. Around this time, sell team apparel in camo colors. Again, you can partner with a local VFW or American Legion and donate a portion of the profits. Maybe at one of the game’s half-time, they can recognize veterans and have a special ceremony.


Selling Custom Football Apparel

When it comes to working with schools and selling printed football apparel, Stahls’ Spirit Sale makes this easy.

You can sell to the students and parents so easily without all of the paper forms or collecting cash/checks from everyone, either.

Just set up a store online, collect payment online, and then just fulfill the final order.


Stahls' Spirit Sale


You can even set up a separate spirit store for the school or local residents to buy from as well.

Since you have unlimited stores, you can set up multiple shops and limit certain apparel items for each one.

For example, you can set up a specific store for the football team which has all of their uniform choices, workout gear, etc.

This makes it easy for the school and coaches, too, because then they don’t have to worry about becoming a middle man for clothing, and can focus on what they do best – coach football.

It allows you to do what you do best – print and sell custom apparel. It makes you look super-professional and the school will find it helpful.


Want More Football Items to Print?

Get even more ideas of things to print for football season.

This helpful football apparel checklist infographic shows many of the possible custom printed items you can offer during football season. Forty-four items to be exact!

How many of these will you print this year?



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